T rex move over; 7 Mapusaurus found

April 18, 2006

Remains of the largest known meat-eating dinosaur -- the 41-foot-long, 15,000-pound Mapusaurus roseae -- have been found in Argentina, paleontologists say.

Bones from at least seven of the beasts were found in 100 million-year-old rocks near Plaza Huincul, Argentina.

That suggests the meat eaters hunted in packs to catch the largest known dinosaur, the 125-foot Argentinosaurus, Museo Carmen Funes paleontologist Rodolfo Coria said Monday.

"When I was growing up, Tyrannosaurus rex was the big, nasty meat-eater on (the) block, but here we've got other things vying for the king of nasty," said Tom Demere of the San Diego Natural History Museum in commenting on the find.

"Up until a few years ago, dinosaurs from the southern hemisphere were almost nonexistent," Demere told The Los Angeles Times. "Now, with this work (in Argentina) and in Africa and Madagascar, we get a better sense of the dinosaur diversity."

Paleontologists believe Mapusaurus roseae ran on its feet and had flesh-slicing teeth.

Its name combines the Mapuche tribe word for "Earth" and project backer Rose Letwin.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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